Saturday, February 17, 2007

learning to cleave


This morning my beloved Mr. T. invited me to go to McDonald's for a coffee and muffin. We like their fruit and fibre muffins and we've thought about going and buying a muffin at McDonald's and then scooting across to Starbucks for our coffee, but we don't. While we were sitting there having our coffee I said to my beloved . . ."You know what? . . . No what? . .. .Today is going to be my 100th post. . . .. Wow, what are you going to write about? . . . I don't know, it should be significant, don't you think? . . . . Hmm, . . . .I was thinking about writing about "those" years. . . .Oh, those years? . . . mmmhmmm, (meaning yes). . . well that would be worthy of 100 posts for sure, he said.

There are times when I do wonder what has made our marriage work when so many others around us have struggled and faltered, some having survived and others having failed. Of course I know that our shared commitment to the Lord has been the biggest reason but I know that when a couple needs to cleave to one another, needing each other more than we needed our moms and dads, . . something special begins to happen. On May 21, 1981 we had our second son. I was 22 and Terry was 23. I had another excellent pregnancy and the delivery was non complicated and our child was again healthy. Our life was happening pretty much as we had planned. No worries, no concerns. I went for my six week post natal checkup the Friday before the July 1 long weekend. I mentioned to the Doctor quite casually that I was a little concerned about a lump that Terry had at the top of his leg. "Kind of in the muscle, right at the top of his leg" I said. "Hmm, how long has it been there," he asked. "A long time, he says, its nothing, it doesn't hurt", I said. "How big is it" He asked, "Big, like half an orange, I would say", I said "Tell him to come in today after work, I'll wait for him" he said. Terry went and the doctor did the biopsy the day after the long weekend. What began after that was a long series of tests and and lots of waiting for results and a diagnosis. Sometimes the news was hopeful and then our hopes were dashed. He had more biopsies. The results came back that he had Hodgkin's Disease which is a cancer of the lymph nodes. After that began a series of tests to determine the extent of the cancer. His spleen was enlarged, but his liver looked fine, as did his chest. His cancer was for some reason very difficult to pin down. I won't bore you with all the details I have recorded but I count 14 different dates of detailed procedures and what not all lasting until the following February when his first treatment finally started. Now, I have to say, that all this cannot happen to a young family without a lot of cleaving. Where we would have been without our family for support and our close friends, I don't know. I literally sit here and cry when I remember how kind everyone was. We had letters from so many places telling us they were praying for us. We had help with the children, while I drove the hour with Terry for his daily radiation treatment. Secretly and between me and my girl friends I wondered what would happen, bravely with Terry I held fast to the hope that the Doctors gave us. People say that men make bad patients, I know one who was strong and stoic and refused to allow me to be with him while he spent hours in the bathroom. Our parents had the wisdom to allow us to cleave to one another. They helped with the kids and allowed us to help each other. Rather than trying to fix our problem they allowed us to feel what we felt and didn't intervene as most parents would be tempted to do with bits of advice and lots of hovering. If there is one piece of advice we can give young couples it would be, when you get married, make your center of gravity in your new home with your husband. If there are issues in your marriage, learn to work out your marriage together with your spouse not over at your parents house.

So, obviously my beloved Mr. T. survived. The picture I have posted is probably the only one I have of him during that time. He took the opportunity to grow a beard because as a Safeway employee facial hair was not allowed and he had plenty of time off of work to see what a beard would be like. As you can see, the boys were oblivious. We cried and fretted about Doctor appointments and check ups and they played and laughed. We learned so much during that time. As often is the case after difficult circumstances, we saw later how this time in our marriage became a blessing. . . . . . So this morning while we had our coffee Terry asked whether I was going to tell everything that happened in those years to him. I smiled and said . . ."oh no, I'll save some for the 200th post. He smiled and said and maybe there will be some left for the 300th post. I smiled and said . . "oh yah".

This afternoon we are going to a wedding. I just love weddings. I hope your day will be filled with delights. I'll see you on Monday.

11 comments:

  1. Okay, that brought tears to my eyes...yay, for happily ever after! I love weddings too. Enjoy!

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  2. Congratulations on your 100th post! I've enjoyed every one! Here's to another 100! Enjoy the wedding!

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  3. Lovella, God did spin 'gold' in your life , didn't He? How good is our God and how thankful I am that Terry is strong and healthy today!
    Congratulations on your 100th post! A milestone!! and how nice to celebrate it with a wedding..I love weddings! May their marriage be as strong as yours!! God's showers of blessings on you and Terry!!

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  4. The Lord is good and His mercies endure forever and ever! I just LOVE happy endings! How 'bout a post where you talk about how you guys came to the Lord???

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  5. Congrats on your 100th post and on Mr. T's continued good health. A dear friend's husband went through the same Hodgkin's,about the same time as you did, with two little ones. Tough times, they and their faith flourished. The only sad part was they had wanted a third child and were told the treatment made that unlikely. Their third child arrived a few years later, a happy surprise pregnancy. I'm so happy having this electronic way of getting to know a sister in Christ like you.

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  6. We are truely grateful that God answered many prayers for Terry, you, and the boys. I remember thinking to myself back then how blessed you were to have so many good friends who supported you and helped you. You were so concerned, but I never heard or saw bitterness to what you had to walk through as a family. Terry was strong for his family. You were a great support to Terry and Mom to your boys. I saw you holding your household together with the courage that only God could give a young Mother. You were and are a woman of great faith and courage. God's favor has been on your family and I know you give Him all the glory. I remember that beard and the boys at that sweet young age. You have an awesome family! I hope that as you continue to share the next 100 entries on your blog, that those that read it will be challenged to making their homes the best place for family to come home to. That is such a gift we as wives and Moms can give.

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  7. Health is a delightful gift. Cleaving is good too. My dad had hodgkins disease when I was a young child. It was very advanced but amazingly he is well today at 77. Lots of prayer and lots of gratitude. Thanks for sharing.

    Kathy

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  8. Lovella,
    You and Terry live a good story! What an amazing gift to not only tell of Christ's joy for strength, but to breath it, live it, and share it. Thanks so much for sharing! I would not have guessed that the picture was during Terry's radiation treatment. He looked good, even then. Without the difficult times, there would not be reasons for leaning on each other. They really do cause relationships to bloom when its least expected.
    Well, 100 episodes and so many more to come! Congratulations for a continuation on your story! Looking forward to season 2!

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  9. What a beautiful post. Congrats on 100!

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  10. Lovella,
    Thank you for sharing this post with us. God is Good.....
    I've lost four siblings and a mother to cancer and my surviving brother has had cancer, so far I am the only cancer free sibling.

    Hope you have many, many more posts..........

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  11. wLovella, I just now read this post! What an emotional story to share. Thank you. It is wonderful that God gave you and Terry all these years together after what you went through. Dairymary

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Thank you!